Welcome to Biology

Hello and Welcome to Bruce Leventhal's Forest Lake Area High School Website. 
Please see my 2nd Semester Schedule, Email Link, and Contact Information below...
Semester One Teaching Schedule
hour quarter 1 quarter 1
Hour 1/2    AP Bio AAP Bio B
Hour 3     PrepPrep
Hour 4  AP Bio AAP Bio B
Hour 5AP Bio AAP Bio B 
Office Hours  M-Th

My Classroom: Room 119
Email Me: bleventhal@flaschools.org (best contact method)
Find me on Edmodo at: http://www.edmodo.com/blev
Check out my Photo Gallery & Blog at: http://btleventhal.com
Phone Me: 651-982-8438

A Brief Biography
I have had a long history in the biological sciences that began in 1984 when I attended the University California Irvine to study Biology. While at Irvine, I earned a Bachelors Degree in Biology-Ecology-Evolution and Behavior. In 1990 I moved to Minnesota where I attended the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities campus and completed a degree program in Science Education. In 2000 I returned to the University Minnesota in order to pursue a Masters Degree in Biology. It took nearly seven years to complete this degree, but it was worth every minute of my time.

As a Biologist, I have worked as a field/marine ecologist on the Pribilof Islands, AK. Working as a field researcher between 1986-1989, I studied rare species of pelagic birds found only in the subarctic and arctic. In 1989 I was hired by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to be the ship's ornithologist where I participated in oceanographic explorations. As an integral part of my Masters Degree in Biology, I worked as a researcher for the University MN Monarch Lab from 2003-2007. 

While research has formed the core of my biology experiences, I have also been very fortunate to have been a science teacher throughout many of these years. Shortly after completing my science education program, I was hired to be a full time Biology Educator at Forest Lake Senior High School. I began my teaching career in Forest Lake in 1992 and continue to love the work I do here every day. 

In addition to being passionate about all things biology, I am an avid Nature Photographer, Traveler, and Conservationist (see my Blog & Website). My goal is to inspire you to think about the the amazing characteristics inherent in all living organisms. I hope that our exploration into molecules, cells, organisms, evolution and ecosystems inspire you to think deeply about your own place on this planet. 

Welcome to the World of Biology, 
On November 24th, more than one-hundred and fifty years ago, the seminal theory that unified the life sciences was published. The author, Charles Darwin, outlined his basic theory twenty years prior to its formal publication. His deference to the scientific process and the norms of his time stalled the presentation of a remarkable idea that changed the way we now understand life on this planet. While many in history contemplated the connectedness between living organism, nobody but Darwin could provide a mechanism for evolutionary change. It took Darwin two decades to assemble the evidence and refine his original hypothesis. Today, this theory is fundamental to our basic understanding of biology.

What is most remarkable is that Darwin had the forethought to describe an evolutionary mechanism prior to the development of genetic theory and molecular inheritance. Today, modern biologist can routinely demonstrate the evolutionary process through experimentation, anatomy, and molecular biology. Much like the impact of Isaac Newton's Theory about Gravity and our understanding of the physical world, Charles Darwin's simple ideas about natural processes has shaped the way we understand biology today. 

What follows is the closing paragraph from “On the Origin of Species," where Darwin shares his awe in the magnificence of life.

“It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on bushes, with various insects flitting about and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse;  a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. 

Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed laws of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”  Charles Darwin, November 24, 1859.